3/2022: Reunion and Secondary Rejection


**This is a recording of our We the Experts event on March 12, 2022.**

For adoptees, finding and reconnecting with birth/first family is a complex situation wrapped in a million emotions. Typically, the system of adoption fails to prepare birth/first families and adoptees and adoptive families for “successful” reunions. In our coming panel, four adoptees share their experiences of rejection from their birth/first families and how that has influenced and impacted their lives.



Rebeccah Carlson is a transracial adoptee from the state of Georgia. She was born in 1992, spent her first 12 weeks of life in foster care, then was adopted by a family in Minnesota. She is the middle child in a family made up of three adoptees. Rebeccah has been a panelist for The Adopted Life, a consulting firm developed by Angela Tucker to amplify the voices of adoptees. Most recently, she was featured in The Washington Post to discuss her transracial adoptive experience and the impact of growing up with no understanding of her origin story. Rebeccah is excited to be part of the Adoption Mosaic panel to share her reunion narrative and cultivate a sense of belonging for other adoptees.

Daryn Watson is a Canadian born domestic adoptee. He moved to Austin, TX in 1991 and found his birth mother in 1995. He and his wife moved to Cary, NC in Dec, 2021. Daryn is a contributing author to two books – “The Adoptee Survival Guide” and “Flip the Script: Adult Adoptee Anthology”. He has a blog (@theadopteemind) and is a Certified Life Coach. You can reach him on his website AdoptionReunionCoaching.com. Daryn wants to share his experiences of overcoming rejections in reunion with others.

Raymi Taylor was born in Long Island, NY in 1970, and was surrendered unconditionally to the State of New York at birth. She was adopted at 6 weeks old by African American parents who raised her as a single child, in the Bronx, NY. She is founder of Ceiba Root Wellness, a Health Coaching practice located in Portland, OR. Raymi is a RYT200 Yoga Instructor, and teaches free online community classes every Sunday for the Ceiba Root Virtual Community and anyone who wants to destress and practice self-love. Raymi is currently creating organic body products for her new line, REIMI Botanicals. Raymi is excited to share her reunion journey with you, for the first time publicly, in the safe space of community.

Kimiko Kawabori is a domestic Japanese adoptee born in Hilo, Hawai’i and adopted by 3rd generation Japanese Americans. Facing secondary rejection and the prospect of not being able to meet any biological family, she explored all types of healing and found Ancestral Healing as a way to connect to her biological roots. Kimiko started Origins Within and became an Ancestral Healer with Ancestral Medicine. She helps adoptees and other people searching for biological connections, belonging, and healing. Kimiko is excited to add her voice to the growing collection of adoptee stories. She is also excited to talk about something that she couldn’t bring herself to imagine before starting her search. Secondary rejection is such a common, yet less discussed part of the adoptee experience.

Lina Vanegas is a Master of Social Work, and a transracial and transnational displaced person. She was adopted from Colombia in 1976. She is a presenter, consultant, writer and speaks to the lived experiences of transracial and transnational displaced people. She is both an adoptee rights advocate and a mental health and suicide prevention advocate and trauma expert. She is also the co-creator and co-host of the podcast, Rescripting the Narrative. She is also a founding board member of Adoptees for Choice. Lina is excited to be a support person on this panel to talk about secondary rejection as the topic is not discussed often enough.


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